Violence and Militants

From Ottoman Rebellions to Jihadist Organizations

by Baris Cayli

About the Book

The first comprehensive analysis of the use of violence by militant groups across time and space

How do militants rationalize violence and what are their motives? How do time and space shape their destiny? In Violence and Militants Baris Cayli explores these enduring questions by comparing violent episodes in towns and villages in the nineteenth-century Ottoman Balkans with today's zones of conflict from Afghanistan to the Middle East.

Placing history alongside the troubles of the present, Violence and Militants reveals parallels between Christian militants who rebelled against the Ottoman Empire and four jihadist organizations of today: Hezbollah, Hamas, al-Qaeda, and Isis. Drawing on scholarship by political theorists, historians, sociologists, anthropologists, and philosophers, Cayli traces the root of dissent to a perceived deprivation that leads to aggressive protest and action. He argues that the rationalization of violence functions independently of time and geographical location. Through a riveting narrative, this book uncovers how militant groups use revenge, ideals, and confrontation to generate fear and terror in the name of justice. 

Breaking new ground, Violence and Militants is the first book to address this complex relationship across different periods of history.


‘A serious-minded and sophisticated treatment of a controversial and significant subject’

Richard English, Queen's University Belfast, author of Does Terrorism Work? A History

We don’t have any products to show here right now.


Upcoming Events

In the Press

July 15, 2019

Review by Kirkus Reviews


November 9, 2019

Review by Jo Neiderhoff

December 05, 2019

New York Review of Books shared the publication news of Violence and Militants with its readers in its December issue.

June 14, 2019

Review by Kate Robinson

March 17, 2020

Review by Valérie Vézina 

May 07, 2020

Violence and Militants is among 7 best new military policy books to read in 2020 and 52 best military policy books of all time

"Cayli's analysis is careful and rigorous, and his command of secondary literature is impressive, resulting in a broadly multidisciplinary study."

""Baris Cayli brings together, in an efficient and thoughtful manner, politics, sociology, anthropology, history, and philosophy to describe and explain violence in different time periods.The book is essential not only to political philosophy but also to scholars of terrorism, violence, or militant or nationalist organizations."

"Cayli clearly and methodically explains the differences between the greater use of the combined force of structural and cultural violence. This thought-provoking and comprehensive discussion will likely prove influential in foreign policy and both domestic and international security concerns for decades to come."

"An in-depth look at a complicated topic, Violence and Militants examines the history of destabilizing groups in the Middle East from revolts against the Ottoman Empire to ISIS. Anyone seeking to better understand the state of affairs in the Middle East would be well-advised to read this." 

“Multidisciplinary in nature,

Cayli's work has a rare storytelling finesse

and the ability to make connections

between important scholarly works.”

-Dr Valerie Vezina

Canadian Journal of Political Science


  1. Amazon

    search by: isbn | title

  2. Audible

    search by: isbn | title

  3. Barnes & Noble

    search by: isbn | title

  4. Walmart eBooks

    search by: isbn | title

  5. Apple Books

    search by: isbn | title

  6. Google Play

    search by: isbn | title

  7. Abebooks

    search by: isbn | title

  8. Book Depository

    search by: isbn | title

  9. Alibris

    search by: isbn | title

  10. Indigo

    search by: isbn | title

  11. Better World Books

    search by: isbn | title

  12. Libraries

    search by: isbn | title

  13. IndieBound


To get in touch with the author, please e-mail to


For any media inquiries, please contact Publicist Jacqui Davis

Tel: +1 514-398-2555

McGill-Queen's University Press

1010 Sherbrooke West

Suite 1720

Montreal, Quebec

H3A 2R7 Canada

©2020 by Baris Cayli